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While both types of medicine block the actions of histamine, they work on different receptors in different systems of the body.
Some of these medicines are available to buy over the counter from your pharmacist. These medicines come in a variety of forms, as mentioned above.
An allergen is a substance that is foreign to the body and which can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. In most people, the immune reaction to these foreign substances is normal and appropriate. For example, in people with hay fever, contact with pollen in the nose, throat and eyes triggers the mast cells there to release much more histamine than normal.
This excessive release of histamine produces the associated symptoms of itching, swelling, runny eyes, etc.
Antihistamines are a group of medicines which act by blocking the action of the chemical called histamine in the body.
It is thought that antihistamines block H1 receptors in the area of the brain which creates nausea in response to chemicals in the body.
If these receptors are affected, you may experience some of the side-effects associated with antihistamines.
For example, dry mouth, blurred vision and retention of urine.
This is one of the most common uses of antihistamines. For example: Histamine is a chemical naturally produced by various cells in your body. Large amounts of histamine are made in cells called mast cells, in places where the body comes into contact with the outside environment. Here, mast cells and histamine form part of your immune defence system.
(Whereas, in the stomach, histamine made by cells that line the stomach helps to produce acid for food digestion.)Your immune system cells monitor your blood and mucosae for anything (for example, germs such as bacteria or viruses) that is not made by your body.
For example: For other conditions, specific antihistamines may be used.